NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee State University family mourns the loss of football alumnus and game day staff member Otis Lewis, who passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 62.
Lewis suited up for the Tigers on the gridiron in the 1970s under legendary coach John Merritt. As an offensive lineman, Lewis was a member of some of the best teams in the storied program’s history.
A Tiger for life, Lewis stayed involved with TSU’s athletic department, serving on the game day staff for more than 30 years. He worked at home football and basketball games at Tennessee State, most recently assisting at the scorer’s table during the 2017-18 men’s and women’s basketball season.
QUOTES ABOUT OTIS LEWIS
“Otis Lewis or Big O was a dear friend to me, away from TSU. He and I started together for TSU Athletics in 1985. Then sports information director Kindell Stephens put us together. Otis was an assistant coach to football and basketball from the scorer’s table. He was very passionate about the game. I will truly miss him. We send our condolences, prayers and sympathy to his wife and family. Going to miss you Big O.”
- Ernie Allen, Internal PA – TSU Athletics
“Mr. Otis was one of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. His kindness and temperament are characteristics I have always admired about him. He has been an integral piece of our game day operations for years and has carried himself with class and dignity each step of the way. His love and support for TSU is unmatched and he will truly be missed.”
- Zekeya A. Harrison, TSU Athletic Media Relations
“It was a pleasure working with Otis Lewis, better known has ‘Big O’ over the years. Otis was a very dedicated and responsible team member of our Game Day Operation Staff. God Bless.”
- Clinton Gray, TSU Athletics Operations
“We are deeply mourning the loss of our friend and Big Blue Tiger Otis. Heaven has truly gained another angel. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Lewis family.”
- Jennifer Bell, TSU Compliance and former assistant women’s basketball coach
“He was always supportive, whether I had a good game or a bad game. Win or lose, he always had a smile on his face. He was very encouraging. When I would go to the scorer’s table to check in, he would always say something positive to motivate me. I’ll always remember his support and encouraging words.”
- Chelsea Hudson, TSU Women’s Basketball (2011-15)